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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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The Greek word translated church signifies generally an assembly, either common or religious; and it is sometimes so translated, as in Acts 19:32,39 . In the New Testament it usually means a congregation of religious worshippers, either Jewish, as Acts 7:38 , or Christians, as Matthew 16:18 1 Corinthians 6:4 . The latter sense is the more common one; and it is thus used in a twofold manner, denoting,

1. The universal Christian church: either the invisible church, consisting of those whose names are written in heaven, whom God knows, but whom we cannot infallibly know, Hebrews 12:23 ; or the visible church, made up of the professed followers of Christ on earth, Colossians 1:24 1 Timothy 3:5,15

2. A particular church or body of professing believers, who meet and worship together in one place; as the churches of Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, etc., to which Paul addressed epistles.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Church'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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